We want to thank and applaud you for another successful National Health Center Week. Our visibility this year was especially critical leading up to and through National Health Center Week. With Congress debating cuts to all the major federal programs that support community health centers, our health center advocacy was and is more important than ever. The theme of Health Center Week 2011, “Celebrating America's Health Centers: Serving Locally, Leading Nationally," created a prime opportunity for us to demonstrate the value of the FQHC model and ensure that our voices are heard as Congress considers key issues such as Medicaid cuts, FY2012 appropriations, deficit reduction, and debt ceiling extensions.
CHCANYS kicked off this summer with regional meetings that we held throughout the state to discuss its federal grassroots strategy as part of New York State’s Campaign to Save America’s Health Centers and to prepare for the National Call to Action Call-In Day and National Health Center Week. As a result, over 1,400 New Yorkers made over 3,500 calls to Members of Congress and the White House, ranking New York State’s response as the third largest in the nation. In addition, petitions containing over 7,500 patient signatures were sent to New York State’s Congressional Delegation. This year’s National Health Center Week began with an official proclamation statement from President Barack Obama designating August 7th - 13th as National Health Center Week 2011, and New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael R.Bloomberg also issued proclamations acknowledging the critical role of New York State’s community health centers as safety net providers. The vast majority of New York’s Congressional Members and their staff joined health centers to celebrate National Health Center Week, including our newly elected Congressional Members. New York health center advocates delivered the message that negotiators should not undermine Medicaid or the Health Centers program, and the message was received loud and clear!
By now, you have likely seen the news relating to the formation of a federal “Super Committee”, as well as the process for achieving the next round of deficit reductions. Things are moving quickly and will require unprecedented levels of activity, outreach and follow up. Please visit the CHCANYS Federal Policy web pagefor additional information, including an update on the Debt Limit Deal, and New York State’s Campaign to Save America’s Health Centers web page for additional advocacy resources.
New York State's Campaign to Save Americas Health Centers / National Health Center Week 2011 Activities and Links
For a list of National Health Center Week events that were hosted across New York State, click HERE.
To read media coverage of National Health Center Week events, click HERE.
To see photos taken at various events during National Health Center Week, click HERE.
In celebration of National Health Center Week 2011, Urban Health Plan has for the second year in a row released its Blue Glove video, an advocacy project to inform stakeholders, media and the community about the important role played by community health centers. Click HERE to watch!
To view/download a copy of the 2011 NYC Mayoral Proclamation, clickHERE.
To view/download a copy of the 2011 New York State Proclamation, clickHERE.
Download the 2011 National Health Center Week logo: HERE
Here are some sample activities you can start thinking about doing for NHCW.
Health Fair Demonstrate the health center focus on prevention by offering fitness tests, immunizations, blood pressure and other screenings, etc. These events can be held on-site or elsewhere in the community, at a shopping mall or a church, for example.
Open House or Reception Introduce visitors, including local dignitaries, to key staff and board members and provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about health center programs targeted to primary care and prevention. A reception also provides a wonderful opportunity to thank partners and supporters for their service and commitment.
Public Forum Engage public officials, local health authorities and representatives of community groups and health organizations to participate in public dialogue or a town meeting about pressing community health issues.
Fundraiser A dance, auction, raffle or concert can help to celebrate health center week and raise community awareness and funds.
Proclamation Request that the Mayor, County Executive or other local leader officially proclaim "Health Center Week" and then present the proclamation at a health center event. Download a sample letter of request and/or a sample proclamation via the links above. Please insert information specific to your locality and health center before sending.
Newspaper, Radio or Television Event Coverage If you are planning an event, inform the local newspapers, radio stations and television stations of the key details, including name of the event, date and time, location and names of local or other dignitaries who will be in attendance. If services such as screenings will be offered, include information about those services. Sample media releases can be found by clicking here.
Newspaper, Radio or Television Issue Coverage Coverage of health care issues — including cost and quality — can be found in most of the nation's newspapers. To the extent that there is a linkage between a topical issue and a local angle — number of uninsured, health care disparities, prescription drugs —use it to draw community members into Health Center Week.
Coordination and planning are essential. Local media are more likely to cover events if elected officials or other local dignitaries are in attendance. Elected officials will be more likely to get involved if they are invited in advance, can expect to be formally recognized, and expect to find a large crowd in attendance. Community members are more likely to attend if they have heard and read about the events in the local media and if they know that local officials will be in attendance. The earlier the word is out and the more avenues used to advertise, the better.